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The Department of Energy (DOE) appreciates its responsibility for the historic buildings under its ownership, and acknowledges the potential impact of its programs on historic resources. As the steward of some of the twentieth century’s most historically significant resources, DOE maintains an active historic preservation program, in its Office of History and Heritage Resources. The Chief Historian serves as the DOE’s Federal Preservation Officer (FPO), as mandated by Section 110(c) of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA). Skip Gosling, the FPO, works within the agency to ensure that Section 106 issues are addressed in a timely manner. DOE is currently working on a new initiative involving the preservation and interpretation of DOE’s Cold War-era sites, facilities, and artifacts.
Establishing Partnership with ACHP and creating a DOE Liaison at the ACHP
The ACHP and DOE identified a prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) as the most appropriate program alternative under the ACHP’s regulations, to achieve the goals of establishing a framework for coordinating weatherization reviews. It was understood that while establishing a national model, individual State’s would need the ability to modify the PA to suit the specific needs of a State’s overall agenda for energy retrofitting and weatherization of buildings. NCSHPO provided input in the drafting of the Prototype PA which was distributed in final to SHPOs and State Agencies on February 8, 2010. Among the key efficiencies of the Prototype PA was its inclusion of a template PA that could be executed as drafted by a State grant; exemptions for routine activities with limited potential to affect historic properties from Section 106 review; recognition of executed interagency agreements between the SHPO and the State agencies prior to the distribution of the Prototype PA and provisions that all DOE, SHPO, and State agencies to execute Prototype PAs without ACHP involvement. With regard to consultation with Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, DOE agreed to develop consultation procedures for those projects that may affect historic properties of religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes.
While the primary focus on the partnership has been the Prototype PA for the Weatherization programs, there are many opportunities for expansion of the partnership. The Liaison will continue to coordinate individual consultations for OWIP projects determined to result in adverse effects to historic properties. In addition, DOE is involved in the recently established ACHP’s Sustainability Task Force. This initiative will involve a number of initiatives regarding weatherization, sustainability, and historic preservation policies that can be staffed by the Liaison.
The partnership between DOE and the ACHP provides a dedicated staff to collaborate with SHPOs, THPOs, the NTHP, and DOE field and project managers regarding the Section 106 process. Historic preservation is associated with energy and economic development issues such as green construction, sustainability, and solar energy. Having a DOE liaison to monitor these efforts is necessary and valuable.
When DOE approves the use of an existing state interagency agreement for Section 106 compliance purposes in lieu of the Prototype PA, DOE, the Recipient State energy agency, and the SHPO must formalize this arrangement by executing an abbreviated PA:
Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (OWIP)
For more information:
Posted March 11, 2011